Is the Chase Freedom Card a Visa or a MasterCard?

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A reader recently wrote in to us wondering, “Is the Chase Freedom Card a Visa or a Mastercard?”

Dear Mr. Credit Card,

I keep getting offers for the Chase Freedom card but there’s nothing on the paperwork that identifies it as either a Visa or Mastercard. Which is it? Or is it completely different and therefore not accepted at many places?

Chase Freedom cards can technically be either a Visa card, or a MasterCard. Your lending bank will decide which one is issued to you. Right now, Chase Freedom is offering a $200 sign up bonus. This means that they have Visa benefits as well as specific benefits offered by Chase. In just a minute we’ll take a look at those benefits so that you don’t miss out on all of your extras. For the most part, the logo on the card only really matters in two big areas: acceptance and programs.

Acceptance

There are only certain places that these cards are accepted. So, Visa says it’s accepted more places than anywhere else, but there are still places that take everything from Diner’s Club to AMEX to Visa. So, you could end up at a place that does not accept the card you have, but you could also never really run into that problem. If you shop at places that don’t take AMEX, you might not want an AMEX. But, if you frequent places that take AEMX, getting it is OK.

Programs
The programs that come with the card are also very different depending on the logo. However, those programs are usually the ones that are in the fine print. Each company has its own special programs that are located in the fine print. You’ll see things like the 24/7 concierge service, travel insurance for bookings you make with the card, and little things like fraud protection. However, that’s as far as the logo goes.

What you get from the card begins and ends with the bank that is issuing the card. In this case, Chase Freedom cards are Visa cards. So, you are getting all the fine print stuff from Visa, but you’re also getting all the features of the Chase Freedom card. See, it’s only part of the equation.

All the Juicy Extras:

Chase Freedom offers cash back for purchases, and it has its own programs. These are all things that come from the good people at Chase. If the card were offered by a different bank, you would see that the rewards would look different.

When you earn points with the Chase Freedom card, you’re basically redeeming as if each point is worth one penny. This means that 2000 points would equal $20. That’s not a bad deal. Again, that has nothing to do with the logo. It’s just a good deal.

The sign up bonus is variable. At the time of this writing you could get $200 cash back for signing up. That will most certainly change in the future.

Since We Dealt With That

Since we just dealt with the whole acceptance and programs thing, you just have to decide if this is the card that you really want. You should compare pricing and rates for the things that you are looking at. It never hurts to check out other reviews (like ones that we’ve written for you) to see which card will benefit you the most.

Chase Freedom is accepted wherever Visa is accepted, it’s a pretty good card, but you’ll have to use our resources to find out if it’s the right card for you. Or, better yet, we can tell you right here and now.

Do other Chase Cards offer the Same Benefits?

Chase has the Sapphire card, but that card is completely different than the Freedom card. You can get cash back, but it is really a travel rewards heavy card. You get to transfer points easily and make it so that you can travel with just about any carrier and stay at any hotel.

Discover also has the Discover More card that allows you to get up to 5% cash back on qualifying purchases, and it let’s you rack up points easily in a similar format.

We could go down the list all day long, but, at the end of the day, you have to be comfortable with the card you’re getting. If you already has a Chase bank account or other accounts with Chase, it is much easier to get another Chase product and simply link your accounts online and make them easier to use.

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